E-Readers (Kindle, Nook, using iPad for reading) yay or nay

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I'm a strict book man myself, and after an initial bump, I haven't noticed a continued upswing in ebook usage on the subway -- perhaps even a downtrend. then maybe christmas and the new Kindles will change that.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
I own an e-reader and split my reading between that and regular books 12
I have no interest in an e-reader; I like the feel and smell of musty yellowed paper and the faint narcissistic thrill 11
I own an e-reader (Kindle or Nook type device) and use it for most of my reading 9
I use an iPad or other tablet for some of my reading 6
I don't own an e-reader but I plan to get one/want one 6
I use an iPad or other tablet for most of my reading 3
I own an iPad or other tablet but mainly do my reading in old-fashionied books 2
I own an e-reader but I think it's mostly dud/still mainly read regular books 1


Hurting, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:37 (nine years ago) link

How does reading a book provide a faint narcissistic thrill?

flexidisc, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:45 (nine years ago) link

yeah i was gonna say

nuhnuhnuh, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:47 (nine years ago) link

maybe that poll option got truncated?

nuhnuhnuh, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:48 (nine years ago) link

i have no interest in an e-reader because books are easier, more convenient, less breakable, cheaper and because i absolutely treasure NOT having to look at a screen for once

e-readers are v interesting from publishers' perspectives but from a consumer perspective i have no idea what the attraction is

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:51 (nine years ago) link

it was, the full option was "I like the feel and smell of musty yellowed paper and the faint narcissistic thrill and I'm a douchebag"

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:51 (nine years ago) link

i mean i don't fetishise the physical or anything but...like, when i'm on the move i prefer a paperback to a hardback book, and...similarly i prefer a book to an unwieldy fucking machine

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:52 (nine years ago) link

All reading is on the iPad.

Jeff, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:53 (nine years ago) link

books are easier - nope
more convenient - nope
less breakable - ok
cheaper - it depends
because i absolutely treasure NOT having to look at a screen for once - then quit ilx

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:53 (nine years ago) link

sorry guys just prepping my new persona as the e-reader hardman

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:54 (nine years ago) link

sighhhhh technological evangelists are the worst people

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:55 (nine years ago) link

i wouldn't object to using an e-reader but i'm not about to drop £££££ on one and neither is anyone likely to buy me a present any time soon

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:56 (nine years ago) link

books are easier - nope
more convenient - nope
cheaper - it depends

Index or Table of Contents look up are much easier in a physical book.
Don't see why cheaper is always better, either.

flexidisc, Thursday, 15 December 2011 17:57 (nine years ago) link

e-readers have their flaws but i was picking at lex because he doesn't really seem to know that much about them. they aren't unwieldy (the newest ones are lighter and smaller than most paperbacks), they aren't particularly expensive, and the attractions to the consumer are pretty clear (being able to carry around a huge library of books, near-instant downloads of new books, including free access to pretty much any public domain text)

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:00 (nine years ago) link

also looking at an e-ink screen is not the same as looking at a computer screen

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:01 (nine years ago) link

if i find myself on a bus or train or in a room with some time to kill, and maybe i'm not sitting comfortably or whatever, it is obviously easier to pull out a paperback and then shove it back in my bag or pocket if i need to move on quickly, then to pull out and switch on a whole fucking machine that definitely won't be as easy to shove away afterwards

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:02 (nine years ago) link

Books don't die when you get them wet, either.

flexidisc, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:02 (nine years ago) link

why would i want to carry around a library of books? i want to OWN a library of books but i read one at a time

haw i heard the e-reader technology has failed to ensure that file-sharing of books can't take place. whoops there goes the publishing industry

the kindle on the amazon front page is £89, in what world is that "not particularly expensive"?

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:04 (nine years ago) link

also looking at an e-ink screen is not the same as looking at a computer screen

people say this but given how much of my work and leisure time involves looking at a computer screen i do value the time i have not having to look at any kind of electronic device

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:05 (nine years ago) link

Pulling out, switching on, and putting away my e-reader no more difficult than a book. I just slip it in a pocket like I would a paperback. Plus I don't have to leaf through to whatever page I was on, and it's easier to read one-handed on the tube.

ledge, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:08 (nine years ago) link

ok lex you shouldn't get an e-reader

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:08 (nine years ago) link

is anybody gonna talk about the resource cost of e-readers vs. books

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:14 (nine years ago) link

e-readers are way more convenient than regular books on public transportation, you can hold it and turn pages with just one hand!

That's basically the best reason for getting one.

silverfish, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:15 (nine years ago) link

ie: an object composed of toxic chemicals that will be obsolete within several years vs. object composed of renewable resource that will last forever

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:16 (nine years ago) link

xp

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:16 (nine years ago) link

voted I own an e-reader and split my reading between that and regular books

wang dang google doodle (James Redd), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:16 (nine years ago) link

xps

E ink is a world different from any backlit screen. I get overstimulated really easily and have to put away my computer, but E ink isn't any harder on my eyes than regular paper. When I 1st got my e-reader (nook) I wasn't sure if I would use it much, but it turns out that I use it constantly. I have a cover which makes mine really easy to read hands-free. I just have to tap it to turn the page.

My brother-in-law bought the new Kindle for my sister for Christmas, but loved it so much that he kept it for himself and ordered another for her. The newest Kindle (E ink) looks fantastic.

julia, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:20 (nine years ago) link

the environmental impact question of books vs. e-readers has not been settled; there are a lot of complicated factors involved
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/01/HOCR1M0J6B.DTL

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:24 (nine years ago) link

I've owned a nook color for a year now. I love it and use it almost every day. I read books, subscribe to magazines, use some of the apps.

But! My wife just bought a Samsung Galaxy. MANY of the apps that I use on my nook - and have paid B&N money for - are apparently available free to her through whatever Samsung's interface is. Additionally, there are definitely a wider variety of apps available.

another suggestbanite (rusty flathead screwdriver), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:27 (nine years ago) link

I own an e-reader (kindle) and it is awesome but still split my reading between that and regular books

cccccc, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:29 (nine years ago) link

And of course, because it represents one of the most proven models of "reuse" around, the greenest option of all is still your local public library.

^^^pretty conclusive to me

GHG emissions are just part of the picture. cuz the other problem with devices like e-books isn't the amount of CO2 emitted in their manufacture, it's the toxic elements involved

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:29 (nine years ago) link

personally I read a lot (def more than 22 books per year) but everything I read is either used or from the library. I think the only new books I've bought are comic books.

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:30 (nine years ago) link

including loads of stuff that (surprise) is not available for e-readers

aesthetic partisan (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:30 (nine years ago) link

iPad, some reading but not the majority yet. I've bought e-editions of the 2nd Alex Ross book and the ESPN oral history, gotten a bunch of older free stuff in the public domain, and *cough* discovered some science fiction and Faulkner here and there on the web.

William (C), Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:32 (nine years ago) link

if i find myself on a bus or train or in a room with some time to kill, and maybe i'm not sitting comfortably or whatever, it is obviously easier to pull out a paperback and then shove it back in my bag or pocket if i need to move on quickly, then to pull out and switch on a whole fucking machine that definitely won't be as easy to shove away afterwards

You really have no clue what an e-reader is, do you? Also, no interest in learning; only decrying (cf. Cooking) .

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:44 (nine years ago) link

I love my Nook mostly because I don't have a lot of storage space in my house for print books and it is very portable -- I can throw it in my purse and have lots of books available to read.

The reason I favor the Nook over the Kindle is that Amazon has not been crazy about Kindle users using Overdrive so that they can borrow ebooks from libraries or to share books. I'm not trying to sound like a Nook commercial, I'm sure that's probably true of the iPad or other ereaders that aren't the Kindle.

Nicole, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:47 (nine years ago) link

No it's cool, Amazon really are a bunch of assholes.

flexidisc, Thursday, 15 December 2011 18:58 (nine years ago) link

You really have no clue what an e-reader is, do you? Also, no interest in learning; only decrying (cf. Cooking) .

wtf? fuck you, seriously

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:00 (nine years ago) link

i'm sure amazon are assholes but kindles are compatible with overdrive now

n/a, Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:01 (nine years ago) link

i have seen e-readers, both other people using them and ones belonging to friends of mine. they don't look anywhere near as easy to handle as a book.

as for cooking i tried for ten fucking years.

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:01 (nine years ago) link

Yet you still have enormous misconceptions about them that you insist on defending despite hearing evidence that contradicts them.

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:04 (nine years ago) link

did you even read my post?

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:07 (nine years ago) link

Bickering aside, what do advocates of e-readers have to say about their effect on the availability of books, etc. to those who can't afford the readers, or otherwise don't have access to them?

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:08 (nine years ago) link

I own an e-reader but I think it's mostly dud/still mainly read regular books

I own an e-reader and it's pretty classic but I still mainly read regular books.

Was sort of considering buying my mother one for Christmas but she is not super comfortable with computers (she is fairly competent at various Office tasks but will complain about how illogical they are all the way) and I think she is kind of attached to the idea of paper books

(also e-books are super expensive unless you are adept at finding real ebook links among download scam sites, which is totally not a route I want to have to coach my mother to go down - the Amazon ebook price is rarely more than a couple of pounds cheaper than the paperback price, and I don't see my mother wanting to pay that for something "virtual" which she'll be scared she'll delete by accident, or which Amazon have the right to take away from you again without warning)

brony island baby (case spudette), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:09 (nine years ago) link

case spudette's mother is the person in this thread i feel i have most in common with (and all her concerns otm!)

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:10 (nine years ago) link

i'm with lex on this one

t. silaviver, Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:11 (nine years ago) link

also it's kind of annoying posting in a thread with actual reasons that haven't been disproven and being shouted down just b/c i'm not on-message technologically - how do you people cope with the vast majority of people who are even less comfortable using new technology than i am?

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:11 (nine years ago) link

Your positions have been rationally countered. You had no rebuttal except to restate your original positions.

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:16 (nine years ago) link

how do you people cope with the vast majority of people who are even less comfortable using new technology than i am?

laughing and pointing, mainly

William (C), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:17 (nine years ago) link

"nope", "nope", "nope" ≠ rational countering

degas-dirty monet (lex pretend), Thursday, 15 December 2011 19:17 (nine years ago) link

The ergonomics of books are pretty important (re: paper feel, etc.) - mass-market paperbacks usually have shitty printing and paper and especially with longer books are unpleasant to read. I don't like hardbacks in general (more of a pain to carry and read), but I especially don't like books with uneven pages opposite the binding.

Reading a quality trade paperback is probably still better than on a e-ink reader, but I'll take my Kindle over mass market pbs or hardcovers whenever possible.

milo z, Sunday, 25 December 2011 21:49 (nine years ago) link

Simply not wanting an ereader is reason enough for me.

I have the ability to see why one would want one

And reasons one would not want one.

I have problems with the unilateral damnation of them with attendant refusal to acknowledge any good in them, "lalala no no no not listening."

Xp

Sandbox Jesse, Sunday, 25 December 2011 21:56 (nine years ago) link

Ok, got the thing working. Not bad, but I already brought 4 other books with me on this trip along

kingfish sandbox bonaparte, Sunday, 25 December 2011 22:38 (nine years ago) link

Overall experience of reading physical book still the best. The iPhone is obviously the most portable but after a while the glare causes a bit of eyestrain, find it good for reading samples but not whole books. The Kindle device with the e-ink splits the difference.

zat you, wrinklepaws? (James Redd), Sunday, 25 December 2011 23:19 (nine years ago) link

I like my iPhone Kindle app for non-fiction, stuff I can pop into for a few pages while I'm in line somewhere. Can't get into novels that way, though.

milo z, Sunday, 25 December 2011 23:23 (nine years ago) link

amazon kinder

I just got one for Christmas! And I can apparently get books from the library, which was one of my main concerns.

kinder, Monday, 26 December 2011 02:21 (nine years ago) link

Dont agree with ding dongs.

No one was agreeing with me. Or with lex.

Sandbox Jesse, Monday, 26 December 2011 03:53 (nine years ago) link

I don't care if people like kindles or not but the whole "books are better because they have soul" thing is dumb as hell. Hearing about how people like to run their fingers through pages is gross.

moonbop, Monday, 26 December 2011 04:11 (nine years ago) link

I mean, what the hell is this "experience" people talk about wrt real books? Is it erotic?

moonbop, Monday, 26 December 2011 04:13 (nine years ago) link

sometimes.

brb . . .

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 26 December 2011 04:16 (nine years ago) link

Sensual yes, erotic no.

William (C), Monday, 26 December 2011 04:19 (nine years ago) link

What books have going for them is that, when they are well-designed, they represent the culmination of many centuries of design iterations and refinements. otoh, only some books are designed with that level of care and knowledge. Cost factors almost always rule the book design process, so in a typical year you get a ton of shitty airport-bookrack mass paperbacks, a plethora of mid-range coffee table books, a smattering of oddly sized and self-concious "look at me" designs, plus a few well-printed literary books that make good use of quality paper, binding, typeface and typesetting.

Aimless, Monday, 26 December 2011 05:44 (nine years ago) link

Hearing about how people like to run their fingers through pages is gross.

― moonbop, Sunday, December 25, 2011 11:11 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Permalink

haha

Cooper Chucklebutt, Monday, 26 December 2011 14:36 (nine years ago) link

this all just seems to be an extra expense. you can pick up cheap paperbacks, secondhand books everywhere. ridiculously cheap on like abebooks for example. i bought the new biographical dictionary of film for £2 secondhand hardback including delivery but its closer to £20 as an ebook. it just seems like you would need to be reading A LOT for these to make any sense economically. especially when books do not come super cheap. i mean w/ mp3 its like yes well you always need some sort of player for audio or video but with books you never needed like an extra thing (unless you count like "light" and reading glasses)

judith, Monday, 26 December 2011 14:43 (nine years ago) link

i mean there are obviously pros and cons. i think talking about these things not having souls is kindof unhelpful. just think how nostalgic people will be for these rudimentary gizmos in a few decades.

judith, Monday, 26 December 2011 14:46 (nine years ago) link

Xp you know there's a whole load of legit free out-of-copyright ebooks out there.

ledge, Monday, 26 December 2011 14:50 (nine years ago) link

oh yeah i'm sure. its kindof stupid to posit this as a straight binary but like what if you're really into sci-fi and you can just constantly pick up a barrage of cheap paperbacks. kindle requires this upfront investment that other reading doesnt and if the books are not super cheap its not like you make that money back. i just assumed ebooks were gonna be super cheap when i first heard of them. it was a surprise to me that they were gonna be priced as though they were, like, books.

judith, Monday, 26 December 2011 15:38 (nine years ago) link

i mean people who want one should buy one. i just keep thinking of this guy i know who bought one and then spent about a month reading some lame indie magazine off it and he kept talking about how it was free but i was like really you have to divide the price of the machine across the number of books you read on it and people who don't really actually read that much are paying proportionally higher. like i get that if you are planning on reading a lot of 19th century literature it might make sense and its a fun gadget but like

judith, Monday, 26 December 2011 15:48 (nine years ago) link

Speaking of sci-fi, the sf gateway seems to be about as cheap as buying the used paperback for those old out-of-print classics.

That lame indie reader's analysis reminds me of this discussion:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-sdjDJt4b2h7b4/the_lonely_guy_1984_talk_about_hair/

zat you, wrinklepaws? (James Redd), Monday, 26 December 2011 15:57 (nine years ago) link

Have y'll been fronting on not seeing this BBC documentary on this very subject? It's kinda rambly but really quite interesting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01871m9/hd/Imagine_Winter_2011_Books_The_Last_Chapter/

You failed, you didn’t eat the whole pizza (NotEnough), Tuesday, 27 December 2011 20:36 (nine years ago) link

I'd watch it if it was available in my country.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 27 December 2011 20:38 (nine years ago) link

I use the US version of this software to watch US TV stuff despite being in the UK. Only turn it on when you're actually watching something cos browsing with it on is supremely annoying, but it's good for what it does.

http://download.cnet.com/Expat-Shield/3000-2092_4-75211377.html

You failed, you didn’t eat the whole pizza (NotEnough), Tuesday, 27 December 2011 20:45 (nine years ago) link

That's a slick little thing. Sadly, I'm on a Mac.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 27 December 2011 20:47 (nine years ago) link

the states are a different country, and you can never BookMac

twice banned gabbage is death (p much resigned to deems), Wednesday, 28 December 2011 01:32 (nine years ago) link

lol @ "switch on a whole fucking machine" - like that's harder these days than "open a whole fucking book at the last page I was reading"

― mortified of ILX (onimo)

So I got a kindle and it turns out that, as I thought, you press one (1) button and the whole fucking machine starts up at the last page you were reading in less than 2 (two) seconds.

I've read one and a bit ebooks since Christmas and it feels like... reading. I don't feel I'm really missing any tactile or sensual experience, but then I usually read cheap/used paperbacks.

I agree with some of the concerns upthread about spacing/justification but it hasn't bothered me too much - I'm used to seeing a similar thing in newspapers.

mortified of ILX (onimo), Thursday, 29 December 2011 10:30 (nine years ago) link

"switch on a whole fucking machine"

Indeed. There are thousands of circuits and valves and tubes. How can the average man be expected to learn how to make them work?

/trying to switch on a dead horse

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:23 (nine years ago) link

quick question as i've just got one of them machines. i have a couple of books in rtf format that i need to convert to epub. so i downloaded calibre. is there anything to set up in the options before converting to a new format or do i just click on convert and hope for the best?

jibé, Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:47 (nine years ago) link

forget if i've already posted this but while ebook prices are usually too high to make any sense (on amazon they are often higher than the price of the physical book), plug project gutenberg into one of these and the world changes.

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:36 (nine years ago) link

Given my penchant for used books and hole-and-corner odd books, I would not consider an ebook reader at all, if it weren't for free book sources like Project Gutenberg and the growing number of ebooks at the public library.

Aimless, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:41 (nine years ago) link

Though I've seen some books on Amazon where the Kindle and physical prices were the same, I don't think I've run across any where the Kindle version was more than the physical book. Being able to rent a textbook on the Kindle for a class I was taking (~$24 for 6 months) vs. buying the physical book (for ~$180) was interesting.

jaq, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:46 (nine years ago) link

Holy crap, that's a game changer. I am going to be back in school pretty soon and I hope like hell I can rent my textbooks!

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:48 (nine years ago) link

"often" was probably untrue because it's not like i've done a survey but it's happened to me more than once! most recently here vs here and here vs here.

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:49 (nine years ago) link

textbook rental is a beautiful thing yeah.

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:50 (nine years ago) link

I had no idea that was possible. And I've only been out of the textbook market for less than a year.

Sandbox Jesse, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:50 (nine years ago) link

i have two copies of 'postwar' if you want one

є(٥_ ٥)э, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:51 (nine years ago) link

i ended up making it part of my annual book-raid on my parents' house (along with two volumes of robert a. caro's a song of ice and johnson; the plane home was the first time in my life i've struggled w/ the overhead bins). much thx tho!

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:55 (nine years ago) link

(did you like postwar?)

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:55 (nine years ago) link

yes v much so

є(٥_ ٥)э, Thursday, 29 December 2011 20:58 (nine years ago) link

me too.

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 29 December 2011 21:02 (nine years ago) link

wait there's textbook rental??? swoon

river wolf, Thursday, 29 December 2011 21:06 (nine years ago) link

Amazon UK is doing a '12 days of kindle' with lots of good, cheap (99p) titles: http://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=1503253031
I looked to see if Amazon.com is doing the same but it seems not - I could only find a list of '$3.99 or below' titles that all looked shit.

kinder, Thursday, 29 December 2011 21:10 (nine years ago) link

You can rent physical text books, too - http://www.bookrenter.com/

wore glasses and said things (thejenny), Thursday, 29 December 2011 21:19 (nine years ago) link

I've rented text books. I've also sold text books I've found in dumpsters. Protip for all the hobos out there, untapped market.

Jeff, Thursday, 29 December 2011 21:22 (nine years ago) link

I just want a cheap source of 60's scifi stuff. Tho, this format seems to work with all the classic short-story collections put out back then.

kingfish sandbox bonaparte, Friday, 30 December 2011 02:13 (nine years ago) link

i picked up the entire wheel of time series for free, that was pretty economical imo

jibe i had to convert those, fwiw- i used an online converter but can't remember what it was called so i'm not actually any use to you but there you go

twice banned gabbage is death (p much resigned to deems), Friday, 30 December 2011 02:15 (nine years ago) link

me too.

have you read 'ill fares the land'? i cant recommend it highly enough tbh

є(٥_ ٥)э, Friday, 30 December 2011 02:16 (nine years ago) link

ha thanks darragh. i'll see how those books come out without any settings modified.

jibé, Friday, 30 December 2011 03:51 (nine years ago) link

thanks to the democratization of publishing my friend who is way better at writing lots and lots of words than he is at writing good ones now has a bunch of ebooks in the kindle store. I don't recommend spending yr money.

silby, Friday, 30 December 2011 19:59 (nine years ago) link

unless you want to read his self-insert fantasies about managing a rock band or being a computer hacker and dating large-breasted women

silby, Friday, 30 December 2011 20:02 (nine years ago) link

have you read 'ill fares the land'? i cant recommend it highly enough tbh

― є(٥_ ٥)э, Thursday, December 29, 2011 6:16 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Permalink

yeah i read this in like two hours and immediately donated my copy to the occupy portland library; as a (very personal and rightly so) manifesto against The Problem it's sterling.

difficult listening hour, Friday, 30 December 2011 21:00 (nine years ago) link


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